Articles Posted in Estate Planning

Second marriages can help individuals cope with the pain associated with losing a spouse through death or divorce. If other beneficiaries are involved, you should consider what will happen to your assets after you pass away. You cannot guarantee that everyone in a blended family will be happy with the arrangements associated with your second marriage. Fortunately, however, it’s possible to avoid some mistakes so your family does not lose out on receiving an inheritance. With adequate estate planning, you can also make sure that your former spouse does not receive an inheritance if you do not intend so.  To better prepare your estate if you’re in a second marriage, this article reviews several estate planning tips that you should consider utilizing. 

# 1 – You Don’t Have to Treat All Heirs Equally

Most spouses do not marry while they are in equal financial positions. This is even more true for second marriages. If your new spouse moves into your residence, you might want your children to receive proceeds when your home is sold instead of your new spouse. Remember, in these situations, there is no established order that your assets must pass on equally to your children. There are various reasons why you might decide to treat your children unequally including children with disabilities, children who suffer from gambling conditions, or various other factors. 

Transfer on death accounts pass on assets to an appointed beneficiary when the account holder passes away. When you establish a “transfer on death” account, assets pass directly to beneficiaries at the time of the account owner’s death. While assignments of this kind can help to avoid probate, account titling should be coordinated with the account owner’s death, especially when larger accounts and estates are involved. 

 
    While simply titling an account, “transfer on death”, and adding a beneficiary might seem like a good idea, this is not always the case. Transfer on death accounts can easily be set up on investment accounts. The primary benefit to these accounts is that they can easily be transferred to a beneficiary. Another advantage is that beneficiaries can be revised more easily than amending a trust. It’s important to understand, however, that titling an account “transfer on death” does not resolve all of your estate planning needs. Various mistakes can occur with any type of beneficiary designation. As a result, this article reviews some important details to consider if you plan on using a transfer on death account. 

 
# 1 – Life Changes Must Be Addressed

Understandably, many clients want to appoint children or grandchildren to receive their assets. Appointing a minor beneficiary directly to an account, however, can present its fair share of challenges. Unfortunately, clients often assume that the estate planning process is complete after they sign a will and trust. These individuals often then name the same individual named in their estate planning documents as the direct beneficiaries of their accounts. Remember, if a designated beneficiary is a minor at the time of an account owner’s death, several undesirable results can occur. This article reviews just some of the most important reasons why you should be careful when appointing a minor beneficiary. 

Problems with Naming a Minor

Some substantial reasons exist to dissuade you from naming a minor as the beneficiary of your estate. The most substantial of these problems include the following:

Many people were forced to think about how to adequately manage their estates in 2020. While a will and last testament was for many years the most common estate planning, trusts have grown in popularity. As part of a will, a person must specify how his or her properties should be distributed after that individual passes away, while family trusts are established for either a specific individual or a group of people who are not specifically named. This article reviews some valuable details you should understand in deciding whether a will, a trust, or both a will and trust are right for you.

Critical Differences between Trusts and Wills

While the critical differences with trusts and wills teal with the time when the assets are transferred, some of the  other vital differences between trusts and wills include the following:

As we proceed into 2021 and emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, many fundamental aspects of daily living have been challenged. Among many lessons people learned from the pandemic, one of the most critical ones is the importance of asset protection. Private placement life insurance provides individuals with the opportunity to allocate alternative investments in a tax-efficient manner while creating efficient strategies that do not exist with other life insurance options. Various factors make it an ideal time to consider using private placement life insurance including high lifetime exemptions and attractive federal estate and income tax rates. This article reviews some critical details that you should consider about deciding whether private placement life insurance is right for you.

 How Private Placement Life Insurance Functions

Private placement life insurance trusts are a special type of life insurance that has a high cash value compared to a low death benefit. To minimize fees, the life insurance aspect is kept as affordable as possible, which permits the cash value of the policy to drive death benefits. The purpose behind private placement life insurance trusts is to amass a substantial cash value within a life insurance policy to take advantage of the tax-free handling of income as well as gains from the underlying investments in the policy. 

With the increasing availability of the COVID-19 vaccine and the rate of COVID deaths dropping in New York, it’s a good idea to be optimistic about what the future holds and to take some time to review your estate plan. While some people need to start from the beginning, others simply need to revise some terms in their estate plan. This article reviews some of the essential estate planning documents that you should make sure you have written. Remember, however, not all 

What Critical Estate Planning Documents You Should Make Sure to Write

Some of the vital estate planning documents that you should make sure to write include:

New retirees are well served to pay close attention to various financial considerations, which are commonly overlooked at the time of retirement. This article reviews some of the most critical estate planning issues that you should make to address either on or before when you retire.

# 1 – The Restructuring of Assets

At the time of retirement, people have spent decades accumulating a variety of assets. One goal of retirement should be to reduce the time and care necessary to maintain what you own. This will not only reduce the costs and length of probate for your estate but will also leave your loved ones with as few challenges as possible. During the restructuring, you might also decide to limit problematic assets.

Data shows that a troublingly large number of Americans do not have estate plans. Besides the challenge presented by not having an estate plan, many more Americans are failing to learn even the basic details about how estate plans function. In the hopes of clarifying some of the most dangerous myths about estate plans and how they operate.

# 1 – Estate Plans Aren’t Necessary If You Let Your Wishes Be Known

In reality, just because you would like your estate handled in a certain manner, there is no guarantee that your goals will be achieved. Even though your loved ones might know and remember your preference, they might find subtle ways to subvert them for their advantage. The best way to make sure that you achieve your goals is to work with an estate planning attorney who can make sure that you write legally recognized documents that uphold your wishes.

One of the most important elder law decisions is picking the best nursing home. While this decision is often financially motivated, it’s also critical to find a facility that offers the best possible care to fit your needs. Unfortunately, not all nursing homes are capable of meeting everyone’s needs. To help process best, Medicare has implemented a five-star rating system.

The Separate Nursing Home Ratings

Not all nursing homes meet Medicare standards. After an in-depth review of a nursing home, Medicare assigns facilities with a rating based on a one to five scale with one being the worst and five being the best. Five-star ratings for nursing homes are based on the following separate categories:

Following the passage of President Biden’s COVID-19 relief bill, the administration began to focus on what tax changes to implement to help pay for this support measure. These tax changes are anticipated to be wide-ranging and significant. This article reviews just some of the most substantial of these likely changes and how they will impact estate plans.

The Potential Timing of These Changes

Both House and Senate committees are working on both budget and tax proposals that will become part of a second budget reconciliation measure. Congressional committees are currently at work on proposals that will be included in the second budget reconciliation bill. The House and the Senate will create and approve a budget resolution to function as a means for the reconciliation process. 

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